The Kinderforest at SOLA
What is a Kinderforest?
A Sanctuary for early childhood....The Kinderforest at SOLA is a nature centered forest kindergarten for ages 3 - 6, hosted on 90 acres of pristine land. Our program is set in a natural learning/exploring environment, allowing an embodied experience of seasonal cycles. SOLA Kinderforest offers the gentle rhythms of Waldorf early childhood education, presented by experienced child-guides, in a beautiful setting of fields, farm, and forest. Flexible enrollment is available, with 1/2 day and full day options, dependent on age. Click here to learn more about the Forest Kindergarten movement.
Reverence, Rhythm and Reflection are the guide-stones of our program.
Reverence: Honoring The Sanctity of Early Childhood
Our SOLA child-guides honor the sanctity of early childhood by providing a nurturing, safe, outdoor and indoor environment for the children. We believe that play is the sacred work of early childhood. Our Kinderforest program does not include an introduction of formal academics, but instead prepares the young child- heart, hands and head- for a fully ensouled learning journey in the later years. Most importantly, we provide spaciousness, patience and freedom where the young child can engage in developmentally appropriate, multi-sensory learning and exploration in the natural world. Each day, children are welcomed into the harmonious ecology of Earthen fellowship -friends, animals, teachers, forests, creeks, orchards, and fields greet the young child and provide a landscape for imaginative play, meaningful work, and peaceful rest.
Rhythm: Comforting support for the developing child
Young children, and in fact all humans, are reassured by rhythm. Our daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms continually provide comfort and reassurance to the inner world of the child, developing the adaptive capacities that allow them to courageously, confidently encounter the world around them. Daily activities echo the rhythms of the natural world around us, moving through a healthy cycle of in-breathing and out-breathing, focus and expansion, activity and rest. A weekly cycle of painting, modeling, and nature crafts, punctuate the days of the week, as do the delicious, organic, freshly prepared daily snack. Verses, songs and movement celebrate the seasonal changes in the natural world, alongside ample time exploring the pristine forest, creeks, orchards, fields and farm that host SOLA's Kinderforest program.
Reflection: mirroring beauty, harmony, and goodness
Children learn through imitation, and reflect their experience of the world around them through the unique mirror of their soul. They 'become' what they see, feel, hear and experience. This recognition brings forth a question:
What are we showing the children, sharing with them, and modeling for them?
We recognize nature as the original mirror, the most essential and beautiful reflective element of the human soul. SOLA Kinderforest endeavors to provide an environment and immersive experiences that reflect the beauty, harmony, and goodness of the world around the young child. In this way, they learn to reflect- 'to become'- these qualities as they develop, learn and grow.